US Seizes Largest Free Online Library

US Seizes Largest Free Online Library

US authorities represented by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation attempted to block Z-Library

A capitalist society is a society of contradictions, in which those who produce everything own nothing, and those who do nothing own everything. It is applies as well to the field of culture. A few days ago, US authorities represented by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation attempted to block Z-Library, the world's largest online library of free fiction and non-fiction. At the beginning of October, the library archive contained more than 11 million books and almost 85 million articles, and the total amount of information exceeded 220 terabytes.

US authorities have blocked more than 130 library domains. When trying to access the site, the user sees a picture with the emblems of the Department of Justice and the FBI and the caption warning that the corresponding domain has been seized in accordance with a warrant issued by the District Court for the Eastern District of New York. However, some domains continue to work, and the site's full version is still available through the onion domain in the TOR browser.

The site probably attracted attention from America's copyright-protecting Authors’ Guild after the #zlibrary hashtag appeared on TikTok with multiple videos of the world's largest library of free books. The Association of American Publishers called the library a "notorious" pirate website.

The fight against the free distribution of books is often presented as a defence of authors' works from criminal theft. But in fact, it firstly represents the protection of the interests of wealthy owners of “copyrights”, who actually profit from selling a book, regardless of whether it is published in print or distributed in digital format.

In the case of the United States, where the English law system prevails, copyright is another form of property right. As with any other property, these rights can be freely transferred, so the copyright holder is not necessarily the work's author. Moreover, the copyright registration procedure is imposed on authors because, due to the peculiarities of American law, it is not enough to have material evidence (for example, drafts) to confirm authorship, which fraudsters use.

It has become a common phenomenon in the field of copyright, the struggle of particular consumers against the large corporations that own the rights to their preferred franchise. In 2019, Disney claimed the rights to a fan film about Darth Vader. Although the author received approval from Lucasfilm to publish the content, Disney used the theme of "The Imperial March" in the film to claim the entire fan film as their intellectual property and monetize it. After the Star Wars fans' sharp reaction, the company was forced to withdraw its claim to own the film.

Obviously, the restriction of access to a free online library affects the broad masses, especially poor students, who are unwilling to pay vast sums of money to publishers and copyright owners. Capitalists would like to extort the public as far as they're able, and force users to pay for even copying images. Here they are facing a contradiction of the Internet's structure which they built up, it is impossible to omnipresently track user's action and repress all sites with "pirated" content.

As the capitalist crisis narrows profit margins, it must become even more necessary for the capitalist to call upon his arms in the body of the state. Capitalism aims to maximize profits, even at the cost of cultural heritage and technological advancement.  History has shown that only it is only in the socialist state that society reaches opportunities to develop the sphere of culture and mass knowledge. The problem of copyrights can be solved only by transferring the ownership of the means of production, including the production of cinema and literature, into the hands of the working people through the establishment of socialism.